Mixed response to Cabinet dropping Lingayat quota issue from agenda

Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami, head of Lingayat Panchamasali Peetha at Kudalasangama  

The State government’s move to recommend Veerashaiva Lingayat community for inclusion in the Central OBC list and the last-minute decision to drop it from the Cabinet agenda on Friday received mixed reactions from Lingayat seers and leaders, with a few again raising the demand for independent religion status for Lingayatism.

Head of Lingayat Panchamasali Peetha at Kudalasangama Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami, who is leading a campaign for inclusion of Lingayat Panchamasali community under 2A category in the State and in the Central OBC list, hoped that the issue would be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting.

Failing this, he proposes to take out a padayatra from Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district to Bengaluru from December 23. “Our main demand was inclusion of Panchamasali community under 2A category and inclusion of all backward Lingayats in the Central OBC list. The Chief Minister had promised to take it up in Friday’s Cabinet meeting,” he said. The swami said that they would go ahead with the padayatra march if there was no “positive” development before the deadline.

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, head of Brihan Mutt in Chitradurga, who earlier supported the movement for an independent religion status for Lingayat, said inclusion in Central OBC list was needed for the uplift of the economically and socially backward communities within the community.

In Bidar, national president of Lingayat Basava Dharma Peetha Channabasavanand Swami urged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to take up the issue of independent religion status and get the recommendation of the previous government approved by the Union government. “While giving reservation to the deprived is welcome, it should not be considered as the main objective of the Lingayat movement,” he said.

Basava Prabhu Swami of Mahamane, Basavakalyan, indirectly took a dig at the Chief Minister, saying all the moves were done keeping in mind the Assembly byelection to Basavakalyan. Being a Lingayat, Mr. Yediyurappa should try to provide independent religion status for it, which he said was the right way of recognising Basavanna.

Amid these developments, another section of leaders and seers among the Lingayats such as former Minister Basavaraj Horatti and others are seeking 16% reservation for Lingayats in the State on the lines of similar reservation provided to Marathas in Maharashtra.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 1:16:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mixed-response-to-cabinet-dropping-lingayat-quota-issue-from-agenda/article33197334.ece

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